International Day of Happiness at the UN
On this occasion, a panel discussion was held at the UN, where the experts of the field, discussed methods and techniques of promoting happiness round the world. Also, introduced in the panel, there was a theology of poems about happiness which was published by the UN.
The session was opened by a piece of poetry about happiness being recited of the published book, titled “Always what we need”, then the panel moderator talked about the paradox of income and happiness, saying that we believe, if we have money, we will be happy while science proves the opposite. Obviously, it was emphasized by the panelists that poverty is a source of violence and in order to improve a feeling of happiness poverty should be eradicated and people need to be able to enjoy a decent living standard.
Then, the panelists elaborated on different techniques to enhance a feeling of happiness among people. For example, Hector Escamilla introduced a university program to promote a feeling of happiness among students, emphasizing on the fact that, the most important thing in life is to be happy and education needs to focus on promotion of a feeling of happiness, providing the students with tools to help themselves feel happy. The program introduces research-based happiness models created by the experts of the field, in order for the society to have happier citizens who have a lesser focus on mere accumulation of capitals.
Kai Ping Peng, another panelist, described a new education curriculum in China. He explained that the students had been asked about the things that would make them feel happy and some of them had mentioned destruction of schools as a source of happiness. As a result, decisions were made to design a new curriculum to make the Chinese children feel happy. In his speech, a short video was shown about the educational program, concluding that, as a result of the program implementation, now, both the children and the teachers feel happier than before.
Another panelist enumerated a number of factors contributing to feelings of unhappiness including, having a horrible boss, driving in daily traffic for an hour to get to work, having poor relationships, social isolation etc. He mentioned that in the past when “streets were own by the children” they would feel happier than now, and emphasized that people who live in slams are happier in those shelters comparing to the time when apartments are built for them and they are moved into more modern buildings. So, according to the panelist, in order to improve a feeling of happiness among people, at the policy level, it is important to fight against people’s isolation and at the personal level, it should be kept in mind that our experiences are sources of our happiness not our possessions. Another factor that contributes to happiness is to make a decision to get out of our routine whenever we are willing to do so, that is if our family has chosen a carrier for us that we prefer not to have, our decision to leave that job will contribute to our feeling of happiness.
One of the speakers of the session congratulated all the people who celebrate their new year on Nowruz (March 21th) which is almost simultaneous with the international day of happiness.
And the final point that was mentioned in the session was the effect of the media’s negative news on people’s happiness and the experts expressed the belief that people are responsible for their own media consumption, and there is a need to educate people on how to react toward what they hear in the media.